Best Backyard Ever!

by Garth Baker

Winter tree planting is well underway in our part of the town belt, coordinated by the Brooklyn Trial Builders.

Brooklyn Primary School students have planted 250 trees on top of Polhill, alongside the track over to the old gun emplacements.  This extends their planting from last year and replaces the gorse and weeds that the Council recently removed.

You’ll have noticed that Polhill Reserve, the park at the top of Aro St, has been renovated. Two popular tracks exit here and there’s so many visitors (1,000 people using the Transient track each week) that the Council wanted to improve safety and facilities.

In support of this development Brooklyn Trail Builders organised a working bee to plant the shoulders of the park, and to get in 200 rata trees (from Project Crimson) on the eastern slope around the new Serendipity downhill cycling track. The Aro Valley Regeneration Group and Kai O Te Aro, the neighbouring community garden, were also fully involved for a great community effort. Rata was the dominant tree species in the original forest of this area and they’ll make a dramatic Spring flowering display in future.

Other species  that were in the origin forest have been planted along the new uphill riding and walking track that Brooklyn Trial Builders are forming from Holloway Rd to Highbury. This route is about a year away from completion, when it provide a circuit around the edge of the whole area. This new track cuts through two valleys with permanent running water, which have been planted with pukeatea, fuchsia, kahikatea and nikau this winter.  If they do well, more will follow.

More nikau will soon be planted in the gullies along the tracks, along with other trees to fill gaps and protect the track surface.

Brooklyn Trail Builders have also worked with the Council to have drain pipes installed along the Fling and Rollercoaster tracks, as well as rebuilding a retained corner and gravelled the surface of the Fling.

For track locations see –

For more information contact Garth Baker, or 027 357 7901

It makes this the Best Backyard Ever!

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Highbury newsletter: 20 June 2014

Highbury newsletter: 20 June 2014

Predator free community

Jonathan Musther and Rachel Wilcox are angling to have Kelburn, Brooklyn and Karori become a predator-free community with a $5000 grant from Halo.  They are students from Victoria University; both keen on trapping and conservation. Their aim is to engage university students, families and schools in the area to start trapping predators. By having this broad network they hope to build a safe haven for birds. Vote for them here: To contact this group, email:

Best Backyard Ever!

Garth Baker reports on all the tree planting that is going on in the Town Belt  / Polhill Reserve:


A new web site has been established called Neighbourly.  This site enables members to connect with others in their community and establish special interest email groups easily.  To find out more and join up:  We can publicise any email groups through this newsletter – for example gardening groups, famiilies with pre-schoolers, George Denton cricket matches, etc!

Valley Voice.

The June and July issues of Valley Voice have been distributed to “Lower Highbury” this and last month. The June issue also available at this link:

Maria McElroy

Paddy McElroy would like to extend his appreciation to friends and neighbours for all the support that he has received after the recent passing of his wife of 55 years Maria.

Koromiko walkway plantings

A group of keen Highbury residents are steadily removing weeds and replanting the path adjourning the Koromiko walkway.

After consulting WCC we have had the rotten and overgrown trees removed and they have also given some plants.  Other plants are being paid for by the residents whose properties  adjourn the walkway. We hope you like the difference and the light that now falls on the path as the plants are being selected to help make the path dryer and brighter.  If you want to help weed and or plant please call Janet on 021 86 88 85

Paddy McElroy planting Astelia

Paddy McElroy planting Astelia above the Koromiko Walkway

Koromiko Walkway construction

“Residents of Highbury clearing embankment of gorse and broom under voluntary scheme organised by local progressive association.” 30 July 1946 (Appeared in “Post” 6 June 1947) Evening Post Collection. Alexander Turnbull Library ref: C21851. This is thought to show the construction of the pedestrian path between Highbury Rd and Koromiko Rd.

Coffee with Councillor Iona Pannett

Iona Pannett, our Lambton Ward Councillor, is buying everyone a coffee at the Aro Cafe on Sunday 27 July between 3:00pm and 4:30pm.  If you have any issues go along and discuss them with Iona.  Also again at the Southern Cross in Abel Smith St on Sunday 3 August, same time.  More details call Iona Pannett on 384 3382 or 021 227 8509

Wellington Brass Band 

Andrew Weir, local resident and member of the Wellington Brass Band ( reports that they won the National Brass Band Championships recently held in Invercargill. This is the 2nd year in a row that  they have won, marking the most successful record in the band’s history.  The band won a total of 16 trophies across the various categories, including the aggregate Champion Band of 2014, and a large number of solo awards.

Kelburn Normal School Centenary

Linnette Horne took some photos during the recent Kelburn Normal School Centenary:

Between Jobs

Julia Buck muses on being “Between Jobs” at:

A Wellington Home “Gets Solar”

Highbury Crescent resident Eva Naylor features on this web site:  ”Eva Naylor had a solar power system put on her 1965 Te Aro hilltop home. Eva wasn’t motivated by the long-term energy savings but purely to help mitigate climate change by using renewable energy. Eva chose a 2kw, grid-connected PV system with eight panels because, after consultation with our solar consultant, Simon Morris, this matched well with her energy usage. Eva’s peaceful organic garden and sustainable urban way of life reflect her ‘lead by example’ values.”

Eva's solar panels

Eva’s solar panels being installed

New Preparedness resources

WREMO has prepared two new booklets:  ”It’s Easy booklets for Neighbourhoods” and “Business Continuity Preparedness”. These can be downloaded at:

The “It’s easy” booklet for households contains useful information on how to prepare a household evacuation plan.  Apparently Wellingtonians are not particularly good at this!:

Indian Cooking Classes

The Brooklyn Community Centre runs Indian cooking classes:


Find out more about what you can and can’t recycle:

Houses for Sale

Highbury Rd:

27 Koromiko Rd:

1/32 Koromiko Rd:

129 Raroa Rd:

4/29 Waiapu Rd:

Childcare @ mine

My name is Helen and I am an experienced Nanny. Some call me SuperGran. I live @ 57 Mt Pleasant Rd. My service provides casual or regular Childcare @ my address every day –  7am till late (includes weekends). The cost is $15 per hour. The minimum charge is $30. I only look after one child at any time though this is flexible by arrangement. Give me a call to discuss your requirements or make a booking.

Phone: 04 934 9501 or 027 454 1972   Email:

Helen Bennett

Helen Bennett – SuperGran

A cat that can’t catch birds

George, the 6 year old beautiful tabby needs a new home.  He is a companion cat, looking for a best friend owner.  Lovely natured, well behaved, playful.  Call 021-1394-563 if you would like to come and meet him.  Thanks  Jane

Canvas and PVC repairs

Jon Rosemergy does free pickup and delivery in Highbury on any items that need the attention of an industrial sewing machine.  We have had a number of items repaired by Jon, and his work quality and price is excellent!  Contact him on  or visit his web site:

Roast coffee bean deliveries

Chris Pugsley advises: We have been enjoying our weekly home delivery of amazing freshly roasted coffee from the Wellington Coffee Co-Op for about three months . Delivered to our letterbox on Koromiko Road every Monday (free delivery) our 300g of coffee beans is a wonderfully practical, fun and cost effective way of getting our weekly fix of quality fair trade locally roasted coffee.  We let them chose what variety to deliver each week – we pay monthly $30/kg – and enjoy.  Try it… great value, great service and amazing coffee.  Contact them on:

Highbury Facebook page

If you want to have your sunrise or sunset photo featured on the Highbury Facebook page ( email them to Kris on

This newsletter can be found on  Items for future issues please email them to Kris on


Kris Ericksen

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Between Jobs

by Julia Buck

Having quit work recently – after 25 years in the same job – I’m going through a weird phase of adjusting to being my own boss in my own company. On Day One of this new era I sent an email to the Newtown Community Centre (where I once worked) to let them know that I was “lying on the couch, pondering what to do with the rest of my life”, and wondering if they might like to take me on again as a breadmaking or vegetarian cookery tutor. I was told they don’t offer such courses any more, but perhaps I would like to join their get fit class for seniors. Touché!

Friends do their best to guide me through the time of life they call retirement, but not me. I’d rather be having the time of my life. They ask me if I have thought about hospital visiting, joining a community choir, learning a foreign language, taking up the violin (again), or playing badminton at the Aro Valley Community Centre. The list goes on, but perversely the more I’m encouraged to get out there and do stuff, the more I feel like going back to bed and reading a book!

Something will turn up, I’m sure, to keep me off the streets. In the meantime time I’m back on them, or rather the footpaths, walking everywhere on these lovely winter days, making up for 25 years sitting gazing at a computer screen. Yesterday I walked from the bottom to the top of Bolton Street in ten minutes, one foot after the other, just keeping on going. It wasn’t as far, or as steep, as it looks.

Robert Browning wrote: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.” I’ll go along with that!

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Highbury newsletter: 4 May 2014

Bus Review

Greater Wellington Regional Council is currently reviewing bus services throughout Wellington City, including Highbury.  Submissions with GW close on 9 May.  More info here:

Rodney Lewington reports on a meeting held on the bus review and this includes details of how this affects Highbury:

The Aro Valley Community Council is also surveying residents on the proposed changes to Aro Valley bus services, in order to inform their submission to the review.  This survey can be found here: and needs to be completed by 5 May!


Valley Voice – April/May 2014

Hard copies of the April / May 2014 Valley Voice have been delivered to all households in “Lower Highbury”.  For those in “Upper Highbury” here is a link to a PDF:


Kelburn Village Pub community quiz nights

The Kelburn Village Pub ( has a regular Tuesday evening team quiz night.  Is there interest in having a “Highbury Team”?  Next quiz will be on Tuesday 13 May, as the pub is undergoing renovations this week!  Please contact Margareth and Gordon on 027 384 4750 (txt is best during the day) or leave a message and Margareth will call you back.


Emergency Preparedness

Feel the “rumble” on Sunday afternoon?  Details of the shake:  Are you prepared for “the big one”?  This month’s tip: store 10 litres of drinking water for each person in your house.  More details here:


Highbury History

George Troup, an architect, and mayor of Wellington from 1927 to 1931 had a house at 52 Raroa Rd. This house is now for sale – see below.  More information about George:


Houses for sale in Highbury

Want your friends to move into the best little suburb in Wellington?

34 Highbury Rd:

1/32 Koromiko Rd: or

34 Koromiko Rd:

18 Disley Street:

52 Raroa Rd:


Houses for rent in Highbury

Have your friends been asking how they can live nearby?

5a Old Bullock Rd is available for rent from 1 June; Sunny, well insulated house with an in-built gas heating and hot water; would suit a couple, as it has one generous and one small bedroom. includes one off street park.  Please contact Clare 021 432 369 or John 021 073 9206.


House sitting opportunity

Want to invite your family to visit – but no room for them to stay? Or would you like the chance to live on your own for a while?

We are going to be on holiday from 21 November till just after Christmas and are looking for a house sitter or sitters.

In exchange for feeding our friendly cat, bringing in any mail, and maybe mowing the lawn, we can offer you a sunny house with drive on access to the front door, sleeps 5 – 6 (one in a top bunk). Its near the Highbury bus terminus on the border of Zealandia.

Contact Patricia or Chris – 475 8848, or 0220861048, or


Newsletter contributions

If anyone wants to contribute a brief news item or article please contact me on skf  [AT]

If you live in the Highbury area and offer products or services that would be of interest to other residents a brief “advert” can be run here!

The general rule is that newsletter items have to about Highbury or relevant to residents.


Highbury Facebook page

Facebook page for Highbury:  If you are a Facebooker please “like” it to join the conversation.


Kris Ericksen

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Highbury Bus Service – The Current Situation

Report by Rodney Lewington

Most Highbury residents will be aware that proposals to change the Highbury bus service were accepted by the Wellington Regional Council last November.  This was part of the review of public transport for the whole Wellington Region.  The Draft Wellington Regional Public Transport Plan is now out for public consultation.  Consultation will close at 4pm on 9th May.

Noreen Barton, Julia Buck and Rodney Lewington from Highbury attended a meeting with the Wellington Regional Council staff on 10 April and were briefed on the current proposals.

The only change to the previous proposals for the Highbury Service is the implementation date.  -The new service is now expected to replace the existing service in the third quarter of 2017.  This provides time to negotiate contracts with the bus companies.  The Regional Council also has to reach a decision on the types of buses to be used.


The Highbury Service

The 2017 service will be an extension to the Aro Street service, coming up Raroa Road, then Moana Road and Highbury Road to the current terminus and return by the same route.

The proposed timetable for week days provides for a 20 minute service during peak periods, a half hour service during the remainder of the day and a one hour service finishing at 10pm in the evening.

There is to be a weekend service.  Generally every half hour on Saturday and hourly on Sunday.


The Bigger Picture

The proposed Wellington City bus network in the draft plan is simpler than the existing services and provides improved public transport to more people than the existing arrangements. The majority of changes will occur in 2017.

They propose more frequent services in areas with high demand, more use of suburban hubs for low-demand services and fewer services travelling on the “golden mile”.  This will require more transfers on many public transport journeys. To facilitate this and encourage off peak travel the Regional Council is proposing to simplify the fare system:

One ticket will cover the whole journey including any transfers. Buses and suburban trains will be regarded as one integrated system (This will not include the Cable Car.)

One discount across the whole transport system to make off peak fares 25% cheaper than the peak fare. (That is 25% off the cash fare and 25% off the fare you pay using the Snapper Card).

Gold card holders will continue to travel free off peak so long as the central government continues to support this scheme.


What Type of Buses?

You may already be aware that there is a proposal to replace the trolley buses.  The Wellington Regional Council are concerned at the high costs of maintaining the infra-structure necessary for trolley buses.  Options for replacing the current mix of buses and trolleys have differing financial and ecological costs.  The possible options being considered for the bus fleet are:

1.      Current mix of diesel and trolleys, and new trolleys

2.      Modern diesel buses

3.      Hybrid buses

4.      Electric buses


Get more information and have your say  provides links  to the full report with the proposed timetables, a summary and also maps of the proposed bus and suburban rail services.

It also provides instructions and links for making submissions on the proposals, both on the transport plan and options for the replacement of trolley buses.

Submissions need to be with the Wellington Regional Council by 4pm on 9th May.


Rodney Lewington

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